Fishless cycle using Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle method

ChanMan183

I’m using Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle method. Today is day 2: test day. Ammonia is 8.0 ppm, nitrites are 0 ppm, nitrates are 5.0 ppm, and ph is 7.6. Am I off to a good start?
 

Dunk2

Your ammonia is way too high. . . 2 - 4 ppm is typical for a fishless cycle. What size tank?

Have you tested your tap water for nitrates? I assume you’re not using media of any sort from an established tank?
 

ChanMan183

Your ammonia is way too high. . . 2 - 4 ppm is typical for a fishless cycle. What size tank?

Have you tested your tap water for nitrates? I assume you’re not using media of any sort from an established tank?
No I’m not, and I tested it a few years ago and if I remember correctly nitrates were 0 ppm.
 

Dunk2

No I’m not, and I tested it a few years ago and if I remember correctly nitrates were 0 ppm.

I’d test your tap water again. . . Too soon to be seeing nitrates from the cycle IMO.

What are you using to test?
 

ChanMan183

I’d test your tap water again. . . Too soon to be seeing nitrates from the cycle IMO.

What are you using to test?
API test kit
 

mattgirl

I’m using Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle method. Today is day 2: test day. Ammonia is 8.0 ppm, nitrites are 0 ppm, nitrates are 5.0 ppm, and ph is 7.6. Am I off to a good start?
When you say Dr.Tim's method does that mean you are using both the ammonium chloride and the one and only bacteria? I have to think you followed the instructions on the bottle of ammonia as to how many drops to add. For some reason following that advice tends to raise the ammonia too high. I have to think they doubled the strength and then failed to change the instructions since I have been seeing this happening more and more often lately.

I will recommend you do a 50% water change to get the ammonia level down. Even 4 ppm is a bit high but can be worked around. Once it starts going down you will need to adjust the amount to add so it doesn't go this high again.

I would also run the nitrate test on your tap water to see if that is where the nitrate reading is coming from. Tap water parameters have been known to change over time.
 

Azedenkae

If you are following Dr. Tim's method, he says:

You want to have an initial ammonia-nitrogen concentration of 2 to 3 mg/L (ppm). Do not go above 5 mg/L.

So may want to do a water change.

Did you also dose his nitrifying bacteria, or just ammonium chloride? Also, surprised you hit 8ppm with just dosing ammonium chloride based on his instructions. I mean it is common for the concentration to be higher than 2ppm because differences in tank volume vs. true water volume, but yeah, hitting 8ppm is quite abnormal.
 

ChanMan183

When you say Dr.Tim's method does that mean you are using both the ammonium chloride and the one and only bacteria? I have to think you followed the instructions on the bottle of ammonia as to how many drops to add. For some reason following that advice tends to raise the ammonia too high. I have to think they doubled the strength and then failed to change the instructions since I have been seeing this happening more and more often lately.

I will recommend you do a 50% water change to get the ammonia level down. Even 4 ppm is a bit high but can be worked around. Once it starts going down you will need to adjust the amount to add so it doesn't go this high again.

I would also run the nitrate test on your tap water to see if that is where the nitrate reading is coming from. Tap water parameters have been known to change over time.
Tap water looked like it had 0 nitrates, but there was also a small tint orange. So I would say it was between 0-0.5
If you are following Dr. Tim's method, he says:



So may want to do a water change.

Did you also dose his nitrifying bacteria, or just ammonium chloride? Also, surprised you hit 8ppm with just dosing ammonium chloride based on his instructions. I mean it is common for the concentration to be higher than 2ppm because differences in tank volume vs. true water volume, but yeah, hitting 8ppm is quite abnormal.
I used One & Only as well as the ammonia and I did exactly as many drops as the bottle said (4 drops per gallon. I have a 10 gallon so I did 40 drops)
 

mattgirl

Tap water looked like it had 0 nitrates, but there was also a small tint orange. So I would say it was between 0-0.5
[/QUOTE]
This will be your base line then. You will know you are moving forward when it starts going up from this level.
I used One & Only as well as the ammonia and I did exactly as many drops as the bottle said (4 drops per gallon. I have a 10 gallon so I did 40 drops)
I don't know why following the instructions results in this amount of ammonia. Either they have doubled the strength or doubled the size of the drops. I keep seeing this happening over and over so for some reason following their instructions leads to much higher ammonia than it should be. I do wish they would address this issue.

hopefully also using their bottled bacteria will help speed up the cycling process.
 

ChanMan183

This will be your base line then. You will know you are moving forward when it starts going up from this level.

I don't know why following the instructions results in this amount of ammonia. Either they have doubled the strength or doubled the size of the drops. I keep seeing this happening over and over so for some reason following their instructions leads to much higher ammonia than it should be. I do wish they would address this issue.

hopefully also using their bottled bacteria will help speed up the cycling process.

So should I do a water change now or wait until tomorrow to see if the ammonia goes down?
 

Dunk2

I’d do the water change now.
 

ChanMan183

Is my ammonia 2.0 or 4.0? Do I need to dose ammonia again? I’m cycling using Dr. Tim’s method, by the way.
5E7119F5-405A-45A0-BB81-D9ED76D5C940.jpeg
 

Azedenkae

Not sure, but either way no, you don't need to dose ammonia again until both ammonia and nitrite hits zero.
 

JeremyW

I can never tell the difference between anything 2ppm or greater.

But it doesn't really matter. 2 or 4 will both work.
 

ChanMan183

It’s day 4 of Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle and I still have 0 nitrites, 2 ammonia, and 0.5 nitrates. Is something wrong? Should I add more ammonia?
 

Dunk2

It’s day 4 of Dr. Tim’s fishless cycle and I still have 0 nitrites, 2 ammonia, and 0.5 nitrates. Is something wrong? Should I add more ammonia?

Nope, all is good and no need to add more ammonia. Do you realize a full cycle typically takes about 4 - 6 weeks?

Have you tested your tap water for nitrates and pH level?
 

Ouse

It’s only day four. You can still expect ammonia to show above 0mg/L at this point. The 0.5mg/L nitrate is likely coming from the tap.
 

ChanMan183

Nope, all is good and no need to add more ammonia. Do you realize a full cycle typically takes about 4 - 6 weeks?

Have you tested your tap water for nitrates and pH level?
Nitrates in tap read between 0-0.5. Ph in the tank is 7.6
 

Dunk2

Nitrates in tap read between 0-0.5. Ph in the tank is 7.6

So there’s your nitrates. And your pH is good for cycling. All you need now is patience! ;)
 

Ouse

Knew it. :D

pH of 7.6 is good for cycling because ammonia is pH-wise alkaline. In lower pH levels, equilibrium shifts (tad too sciency for me to understand) and it becomes ammonium, which is slower for cycling.
 

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